After 25 years of collaboration, Nike and the Premier League have decided to end their partnership. Production of official Premier League footballs will now move to Puma.
Since the 2000-01 season, American sportswear company Nike has produced the official ball.
The 2023-24 season will celebrate 24 years of Nike’s trademark design. The current deal between the English Premier League and the US sponsor will end in 2025.
American company Nike missed out on a chance to prolong the agreement due to a difference in valuations. Therefore, starting with the 2025-26 season, the Premier League will use match balls manufactured by the German company Puma.
Puma are familiar with English soccer
The Athletic have confirmed that the English top division has agreed to terms with the German company Puma. This makes the latter the league’s new official match ball supplier. The German manufacturer currently serves as the official ball supplier for Serie A. They also work with La Liga and the EFL Championship.
The ball, known as the ‘Orbita,’ is utilized in these respective leagues. From 2025 onwards, Puma will face the challenge of winning over supporters with their new designs, as the majority of fans currently show a preference for Nike designs.
When did Nike and Premier League’s relationship start?
The contract between the American company and the Premier League dates back more than two decades.
In the 2000-01 season, the Nike Geo Merlin was the official match-ball. Over the next decades, advancements in ball technology have allowed for the usage of the Nike Flight, which was advertised as a “revolution in aerodynamics.”
As the new Premier League season kicks off on Friday, August 11 with Burnley visiting Manchester City, the new Nike Flight will make its second debut.
Premier League Primary Stars, a program aimed at elementary and middle school students, is one of the beneficiaries of Nike’s sponsorship. It’s unclear what happens to their funding once Puma arrive.
Photo credit: IMAGO / News Images
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